Big Rig Driver Arrested in DUI 6-Vehicle Wreck that Kills 2 People and Injures 9 Others
SANTA MARIA, CA (February 7, 2019) – A big rig driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI following a multi-vehicle crash that killed two people and injured nine others Thursday morning.
The fatal crash happened around 6:30 a.m. on Highway 135 at Union Valley Parkway.
According to the CHP, a tractor-trailer, driven by a 56-year-old Gilbert Pena of Santa Maria, was traveling in the left lane of southbound Highway 135 at an unknown rate of speed, when it rear-ended a 2009 Nissan car. Four additional vehicles were struck as a result of the initial crash.
Responding crews, including the Santa Barbara County and Santa Maria Fire departments, extricated several victims who were trapped in their vehicles.
Tragically, both the driver and passenger in the Nissan were killed in the crash. Their identities were not immediately available pending next of kin notification.
Eight other patients complained of minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
Pena was transported by American Medical Response to Marian Regional Medical Center with moderate to major injuries. He was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
The southbound Highway 135 remains closed between Foster Road and Union Valley Parkway as crews cleared the wreckage. Motorists were rerouted to Bradley or Orcutt roads.
The CHP and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the incident.
We offer our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the victims. We hope that the investigation of authorities will end up bringing justice wherever it is due.
If you suddenly lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, contact us today at The Sweet Law Group. The lawyers in our firm are highly skilled and experienced in handling delicate cases such as wrongful death. We want to help you through this difficult time so you can focus on other matters at hand. Let us fight for justice and proper compensation your family deserve. Call us for a free consultation at (800) 203-3061.